McLaren Formula 1 driver Fernando Alonso will miss the Monaco Grand Prix on 28 May to race at the Indianapolis 500 instead. The double Formula 1 World Champion has welcomed the news after pointing out that he has always had the ambition to win the triple crown of Monaco, the Indy 500 and Le Mans.
The British Formula 1 team made the surprising announcement on Wednesday morning (12 April) but made it clear that the Spanish driver will only miss the Monaco GP and will be thus back for the Canadian Grand Prix early in June.
"Since the Indianapolis 500 will take place on May 28th, the same day as the Monaco Grand Prix, Fernando will not race at Monaco this year. The Indianapolis 500 will be the only 2017 IndyCar race in which Fernando will compete, however, and the Monaco Grand Prix will therefore be the only 2017 Formula 1 race in which he will not compete," McLaren confirmed while adding that they are yet to decide who will replace Alonso in Monaco.
The move will see McLaren returning to the Indianapolis 500 following an absence of 38 years as Alonso will race for the Honda-powered McLaren run by the Andretti Autosport team.
"I'm immensely excited that I'll be racing in this year's Indy 500, with McLaren, Honda and Andretti Autosport," Alonso said.
"The Indy 500 is one of the most famous races on the global motorsport calendar, rivalled only by the Le Mans 24 Hours and the Monaco Grand Prix [which Fernando has won twice, one of those victories at the wheel of a McLaren (in 2007)], and it's of course a regret of mine that I won't be able to race at Monaco this year. But Monaco will be the only 2017 Grand Prix I'll be missing, and I'll be back in the cockpit of the McLaren-Honda MCL32 for the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal in early June."
"I've won the Monaco Grand Prix twice, and it's one of my ambitions to win the Triple Crown [the Monaco Grand Prix, the Indianapolis 500 and the Le Mans 24 Hours], which has been achieved by only one driver in the history of motorsport: Graham Hill. It's a tough challenge, but I'm up for it. I don't know when I'm going to race at Le Mans, but one day I intend to. I'm only 35: I've got plenty of time for that."